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Cynthia McKinney on Health Care

Green Party nominee for President (Former Rep., D, GA-4)


Supports single-payer universal health care

Q: Briefly state your position on the following issue: Single-Payer Universal Health Care.

A: In Congress, I was a cosponsor of every bill to create a national system for universal access to health care under a single payer model.

Source: Green Party 2008 Presidential Candidate Questionnaire Feb 3, 2008

Resources for health needs, pre-natal & post-natal care

Reconstruction Party Manifesto point #4. We Want Resources for Human Needs Now!
We want budget priorities that satisfy pressing and unmet human needs in health care, education, and ending enduring disparities, not that furthe corporate greed or the war machine.

We believe in full reproductive rights for women--for legal rights and safe access to comprehensive prenatal and postnatal/infant care; family planning services, including "morning after" medication; and abortion.

Source: Manifesto for a Reconstruction Party Jan 26, 2008

Take insurance companies out of health-care equation

All too often patients cannot receive the treatment they require because the treatment is blocked by the profit motive of the insurance companies. You have to take the insurance companies out of the health-care equation.

We in the US spend far more money than any other country and we get less. Close to 50 million people are uninsured. Countries that have what others pejoratively call "socialized medicine" are better performing. We need a universal, single-payer health-care system in this country.

Source: Interview with "Reconstruction Renaissance" Jan 8, 2008

Affordable health care is a matter of national security

Ensuring access to affordable and quality health care is a matter of national security for the United States. The number of uninsured and underinsured Americans is growing. I believe it is imperative to expand programs such as Medicaid and SCHIP to cover all uninsured Americans in the United States.
Source: Campaign website, www.cynthiaforcongress.com, "Issues" Dec 20, 2007

Against rationing or voucher-based system of insurance

In light of an economy that produces jobless growth, it is imperative that America's priorities be recalibrated to place a priority on people and not on war. In addition, I support providing an understandable and cost efficient prescription drug benefit to all Americans who need it. I am against any form of health care rationing or the use of a voucher-based system of health insurance.
Source: Campaign website, www.cynthiaforcongress.com, "Issues" Dec 20, 2007

Voted NO on denying non-emergency treatment for lack of Medicare co-pay.

Vote to pass a resolution, agreeing to S. AMDT. 2691 that removes the following provisions from S 1932:
Reference: Reconciliation resolution on the FY06 budget; Bill H Res 653 on S. AMDT. 2691 ; vote number 2006-004 on Feb 1, 2006

Voted NO on allowing suing HMOs, but under federal rules & limited award.

Vote to adopt an amendment that would limit liability and damage awards when a patient is harmed by a denial of health care. It would allow a patient to sue a health maintenance organization in state court but federal, not state, law would govern.
Bill HR 2563 ; vote number 2001-329 on Aug 2, 2001

Voted NO on subsidizing private insurance for Medicare Rx drug coverage.

HR 4680, the Medicare Rx 2000 Act, would institute a new program to provide voluntary prescription drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries through subsidies to private plans. The program would cost an estimated $40 billion over five years and would go into effect in fiscal 2003.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Thomas, R-CA; Bill HR 4680 ; vote number 2000-357 on Jun 28, 2000

Voted NO on banning physician-assisted suicide.

Vote on HR 2260, the Pain Relief Promotion Act of 1999, would ban the use of drugs for physician-assisted suicide. The bill would not allow doctors to give lethal prescriptions to terminally ill patients, and instead promotes "palliative care," or aggressive pain relief techniques.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Hyde, R-IL; Bill HR 2260 ; vote number 1999-544 on Oct 27, 1999

Increase funding for AIDS treatment & prevention.

McKinney adopted the CBC principles:

HIV/AIDS Initiatives
The CBC’s Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative will focus on those areas hardest hit by the epidemic, many of which are in districts that we represent. The initiative will focus on prevention and treatment and we will also seek to re-direct and/or increase funding levels based on a detailed review of the implementation of the initiative. In addition, the CBC recognizes the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS on the global workforce, specifically in Africa, and on the allocation of resources of developing countries. Therefore, the CBC will continue its efforts to support a comprehensive global policy aimed at ending the scourge of HIV/AIDS around the globe.

Source: Congressional Black Caucus press release 01-CBC5 on Jan 6, 2001

More funding for Rx benefits, community health, CHIPs.

McKinney adopted the CBC principles:

Source: Congressional Black Caucus press release 01-CBC6 on Jan 6, 2001

MEDS Plan: Cover senior Rx under Medicare.

McKinney adopted the Progressive Caucus Position Paper:

Summary of the Medicare Extention of Drugs To Seniors Act (Meds)

MEDS establishes an 80/20 outpatient prescription drug benefit under a new Medicare Part D that will be administered by the Health Care Financing Administration. The plan will cost similar to figures for the Bush prescription drug plan due to this plan’s emphasis on lowering the price of pharmaceuticals.

Premiums and Low-income Assistance:

Premiums would be $24/month in the first year and indexed to a pharmaceutical Sustainable Growth Rate, which will ensure that premiums or drug costs do not increase arbitrarily.

Employer Incentive Program:

Employers providing drug coverage equal to or better than the Medicare coverage receive an incentive payment to maintain such coverage.
Source: CPC Press Release, MEDS Plan 01-CPC3 on Jan 31, 2001

Provide mental health services for older Americans.

McKinney co-sponsored providing mental health services for older Americans

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: A bill to provide for mental health screening and treatment services, and to provide for integration of mental health services and mental health treatment outreach teams.

SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. CLINTON: This bill is an effort to improve the accessibility and quality of mental health services for our rapidly growing population of older Americans. As we look forward to increased longevity, we must also acknowledge the challenges that we face related to the quality of life as we age. Chief among these are mental and behavioral health concerns.

It is estimated that nearly 20% of Americans age 55 or older experience a mental disorder. It is anticipated that the number of seniors with mental health problems will increase from 4 million in 1970 to 15 million in 2030. Mental disorders do not have to be a part of the aging process because we have effective treatments for these conditions. But in far too many instances our seniors go undiagnosed and untreated because of the current divide in our country between health care and mental health care.

That is why I am reintroducing the Positive Aging Act. This legislation would strengthen the delivery of mental health services to older Americans. Specifically, the Positive Aging Act would fund grants to states to provide screening and treatment for mental health disorders in seniors. It would also fund demonstration projects to provide these screening and treatment services to older adults residing in rural areas and in naturally occurring retirement communities, NORC's.

I believe that we owe it to older adults in this country to do all that we can to ensure that high quality mental health care is both available and accessible. This legislation takes an important step in that direction.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; never came to a vote.

Source: Positive Aging Act (S.1116/H.R.2629) 05-S1116 on May 25, 2005

Make health care a right, not a privilege.

McKinney adopted the Progressive Caucus Position Paper:

    The Progressive Caucus is united in its goal of making health care a right, not a privilege. Every person should have access to affordable, comprehensive and high-quality medical care. We must use our health care dollars efficiently and ensure public accountability in all medical decisions. Based on this goal, we support the following principles:
  1. All Americans, including the 44 million currently without health insurance, deserve to have the health care they need, regardless of ability to pay.
  2. Medicare must remain solvent and available for the millions of seniors and individuals with disabilities who rely on the program. The Progressive Caucus supports expanding the program to cover prescription drugs and other needed products and services for beneficiaries. We support a Medicare buy-in for individuals age 55 and older. We support lowering out-of-pocket costs for seniors who currently pay, on average, 20% of their income for health care.
  3. Proposals should be rejected to change traditional Medicare from a defined benefit to a defined contribution or voucher system.
  4. Balanced Budget Act cuts that are negatively affecting patient access to hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies must be restored.
  5. Medicaid must have the resources to continue to provide coverage and care for low-income individuals, including children in the CHIP program.
  6. Individuals with disabilities should retain their health benefits when they return to work and to have access to rehabilitative and other needed services.
  7. Funding and outreach and other programs serving low-income Americans should be expanded. Examples of such programs are the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), Specified Low-income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB), and Qualified Individuals programs; transitional funds for Medicaid recipients who are also welfare-to-work recipients; and for HHS for mental health outreach for the elderly.
Source: CPC Position Paper: Health Care 99-CPC2 on Nov 11, 1999

Supported funding women's health needs.

McKinney adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:

Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC2 on Jul 15, 1999

Supported funding older women's health.

McKinney adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:

Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC3 on Jul 15, 1999

Supported funding Prenatal and Postpartum Care.

McKinney adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:

Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC5 on Jul 15, 1999

Supported funding Family and Children's Coverage.

McKinney adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:

Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC6 on Jul 15, 1999

Other candidates on Health Care: Cynthia McKinney on other issues:
Nominees:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

GOP V.P. Possibilities:
Gov.Haley Barbour(MS)
Gov.Charlie Crist(FL)
Mayor Rudy Giuliani(NYC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Sen.Joe Lieberman(CT)
Gov.Tim Pawlenty(MN)
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Gov.Mark Sanford(SC)

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Libertarian: Sen.Mike Gravel
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
Libertarian: Rep.Ron Paul
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Page last updated: Oct 01, 2008